THE WHITE-NAPED WEAVER.
PLATE I. (Upper figure jun.)
Sycobius albinncha. Bocage, Jorn. Lisboa, 1876, p. 247.
Ploceus (Mclanop‘eryx) nigerrimus (part). Reiehen. Zool. Jalirb. Jena, i. 1886, p. 125.
Ploceus nigerrimus (pt.). Shelley. Ibis. 1887, p. 38.
"S. albinucha : S. nigerrimo similis, sed minor ; nitide niger ; torque occipitali alho-rario rostro graciliori nigro ; peilibus fuscis ” (Bocage).
Male ? Similar to Ploceus nigerrimus but much smaller, bill slighter, culmen straighter, or less curved ; not so black, strongly tinged with dull brown on the primaries and tail ; no nuchal patch, axillaries and under wing-coverts slaty grey ; under surface of primaries ashy-grey ; quills of wings and tail black above and white below (in Pl. nigerrimus they are black above and brown below) ; abdomen, Hanks, thighs and under tail-coverts dull slaty-brown : bill black ; feet brown : length 5.45, wing 3.1, tail 1.95, tarsus 0.75, culmen 0.73. No. 2. Probably the male.
Young ? Similar, much smaller ; tinged with brown above ; nuchal patch greyish-white ; primaries and tail-feathers edged with dull brown ; throat and breast nearly black ; belly, flanks, thighs and under tail-coverts dull slaty-brown ; bill brownish-black paler at the base of the lower mandible ; feet pale brown : length 4.8, wing 3.05, tail 1.9, tarsus 0.65, culmen 0.65. Fig. Jun. Plate 1. No. 3. Probably the female.
Obserr. This Sycobius albinucha, Bocage, I shall consider a distinct species. The under tail-coverts of the young bird (No. 3) above described are tipped with red, indicating a different stage of plumage in the nestling.
In separating this bird from the preceding species, I am doubtful whether it should be placed under the genus Malimbus or Ploccus. I figured the bird and coloured all the plates, before I had completed the material now before me, hence the mistake in the word juv, which should be fig. 2, Jun.
I here point out that all the specimens of Pl. albinucha examined are from the Gold Coast ; they have the lower half of the under parts, or abdomen, dull slaty-brown ; some are paler than others, which are apparently of different ages ; one I possess is entirely black on the head, neck and back without the nuchal patch, but still retains the slaty-brown abdomen : they are all comparatively much smaller than Pl. nigerrimus, the bill much slighter and straighter, especially on the culmen.
No. Sex. Mus. Locality. Length. Wing. Tail. Tars. Culm.
h ? G. E. Shelley Gold Coast 5.4 3.15 2.05 0.75 0.75
i ? G. E. Shelley Gold Coast (Ussher) 4.85 2.9 1.85 0.65 0.65
j ? G. E. Shelley Gold Coast 5.35 2.95 1.8 0.7 0.7
k ? Jun. E. B. Fantee, W. Africa 5.35 3.15 2 0.7 0.7
l ? Jun. E. B. Fantee, W. Africa 4.8 3.05 1.9 0.65 0.65
m ? A. Boueard Fantee, W. Africa 5.3 3.15 3.15 0.75 0.7
The figures (Plate I.) are taken from a and I in my own collection, and figured for the first time.